A recent groundswell of protests on college campuses over race, sexual misconduct and other social issues has some civil libertarians worried that the prized principle of free speech could be sacrificed in the rush to address legitimate student grievances.
The potential conflict between the protection of civil rights and the constitution’s First Amendment guarantees was on display at the University of Missouri in Columbia last week when students, supported by the football team, forced the resignation of system president Tim Wolfe over racial incidents and other problems on campus that they felt he had failed to take seriously. While their campaign drew widespread support and inspired similar demonstrations at colleges across the country, it also prompted a backlash from critics who said some actions went too far.
A Missouri assistant professor supportive of the student protests blocked a student photographer from an area where demonstrators had set up a tent city, a move which infringed freedom of the press. The student protesters quickly reversed the media ban, saying the incident had been a “teachable moment” for them.
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Discussion: Do Campus Protests Inhibit Free Speech? was originally published on praisecleveland.com